Robert Latimer was a husbandman who lived a simple life in Saskatchewan. but it was complicated by the birth of his girl. Tracy. who was born with intellectual paralysis. and she had uninterrupted mental and physical jobs which invariably pained her. For this assignment. I will presume the position that Robert held. which allowed that because of her hurting and suffering life. Tracy would hold wanted to stop her life. Robert Latimer actively euthanized his girl when she was 12 old ages old by puting her in his truck and leting the deathly C monoxide fumes to enfold her. which killed her.
His actions were no different. by any moral or philosophical position. than a comparative drawing the stopper ( or feeding tubing ) that sustained a agony patient who had non expressed his or her will to stay alive. If so a patient ( or. by the position maintained by those who hold that a continuance of agony is a better alternate to decease. a victim ) would take to stop his or her life. so active mercy killing is morally right. I will reason that this stands when looked at from a useful point of position. every bit good as from a deontological point of view.
But to do my statements stronger. I will place the differences between utilitarianism and deontology. and so explicate why Latimer’s action would be supported by both positions. The Utilitarian View Utilitarians are merely concerned with result. and by their criterions. the right action is that which leads to maximal wellbeing. This may at times allow that the best action is one where person actively ends another’s life. when contrasted with some another action. where go forthing everyone entirely leads to less overall well-being.
So if a train is bearing down the paths. and in its present way two people are tied to the paths. but there is another path which the train can be switched to if a lever is pulled. where merely one individual is tied to the paths. so the right action for anyone nowadays would be to draw the lever and do the decease of the 1. and trim the two ( as overall good is maximized: one decease is better than two ) . A useful position surely allows for self-destruction. if the agony is greater than the overall value of the life in inquiry.
Assisted self-destruction ( and active mercy killing ) may be regarded by utilitarians as superior to protracting one’s life of hurting. and it is about surely better than inactive mercy killing by this position. Passive mercy killing. which is lawfully better. as there is no “action” of killing ( but instead an inactivity which leads to decease ) . will by and large hold much more hurting and agony as person starves to decease or is debilitated farther until their decease.
Active mercy killing gets around this. and minimizes the hurting and agony that would be at least slightly drawn-out by prolonging a life of enduring. or protracting it for some clip by passively leting person to decease. James Rachels discussed in item the difference between action and inactivity. and some of his composing seems to assist to determine why people by and large feel actively killing is worse than allowing dice. But when it comes to euthanasia. the action of killing seems preferred to the intense agony that precedes decease in inactive mercy killing. The Deontological View
A deontological position would hold it that the best actions are those that have the best purposes. It is a small harder to reason that Robert Latimer performed the right action from this position. as his purpose was to kill. but sing his daughter’s fortunes. his action may be looked at as the first and first manner to stop her agony. instead than take her life. Deontologists are really different from any consequentialists. which include utilitarians. Consequentialists weigh the morality and rightness of an action merely by looking at the result. and they wholly disregard purposes.
Utilitarians. who merely look at whether or non the good ( pleasances ) outweigh the bad ( strivings ) are non concerned with purposes. as deontologists are. Here are a twosome of scenarios that demonstrate the obvious disagreement between the two positions. If person inexperienced person is about to be hanged. and person intends to salvage them by hiting the rope. but they alternatively miss and their slug hit’s the individual. deontologists would reason that hiting was right because its purpose was to salvage the individual. but utilitarians would reason it was incorrect because its result led to the victim being shot.
Another scenario that deontologists would reason against that would be supported by utilitarians might be one where person by chance saves another when seeking to make bad. Say person inexperienced person is about to be hanged. and at that minute a bank robber rushes out of a bank and fires at the sheriff who is taking purpose at him. but the robber girls and hit’s the rope around the guiltless man’s cervix. saving him. Deontologists would state the individual acted incorrect because his purposes were to hit the sheriff. but utilitarians would wish the action because its result led to the sparing of a life.
From a basic deontological position. it is best to execute the action that intends to maximise good ( pleasances ) and minimise bad ( strivings ) . Robert Latimer acted by making what he thought was the most humanist thing he could make. His action was more complex than merely killing his girl. which. when phrased like that. by and large would be the incorrect action. harmonizing to a deontological position. But his action was to stop her agony. which is better by this position than an inactivity of protracting it. or an inactivity of everything ( including feeding her- which is inactive mercy killing ) which would hold led to greater enduring before decease.
He merely ended his daughter’s agony. Expostulations from the Utilitarian View Assuming that I am incorrect about my statement from a useful base would merely come from a refined useful position that is non merely concerned with maximising good. but besides with honouring the holiness of life. Merely some useful who basically supports that which spares or maintains the most lives ( and minimizes deceases ) would see Robert Latimer’s actions in a negative visible radiation. as this position would barely ( or non at all ) recognize quality of life.
But a true. basic useful position should acknowledge quality of life. for non lone life and decease weigh in on maximizing pleasances and strivings. A suffering life’s being should negatively impact some hedonistic concretion ( a “mechanism” termed by Jeremy Bentham. which refers to some system of weighing pleasances and strivings to find what is best ) . So a true useful position would non keep that Latimer’s stoping a life of agony was incorrect. but instead that it was morally applaudable. Expostulations from the Deontological View
Anyone reasoning that Latimer’s actions were morally blameworthy while keeping a deontological position would besides hold to presume that his action intended to take a life. instead than salvage one. But that was non his purpose. If that was his exclusive intent in what he did to his girl. Tracy. so his action was no different from slaying person in cold blood. which besides has the direct purpose of killing. Latimer’s purposes were non to kill ; they were to stop agony and hurting. and killing ( euthanizing ) was the lone method by which this could be done.
The chief constituent to the job of understanding Latimer’s action is understanding the result ( for the useful position ) or the purpose ( for the deontological position ) and neither of those were merely decease. The result was the terminal of a girl’s consistent agony. and his purpose was to bring forth that result. so this instance of active mercy killing is morally allowable. Not merely that. but harmonizing to the positions I have discussed. Latimer’s action should hold been performed.
Mentions Rachels. J. ( 1986 ) . The Elementss of Moral Philosophy. New York: McGraw Hill.